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Journalist accused of "collaborating" with ex-army colonel in DR Congo

(JED/IFEX) – 16 August 2012 – JED is deeply concerned by the arrest of a journalist with community radio station RTAS in Miabi, Eastern Kasai province, and by the pillaging of the station by Congolese armed forces and police.

Police and armed forces (FARDC) agents took Fortunat Kasongo away in a jeep on 14 August 2012 and led him by force to Mbuji-Mayi, about 30 km away from Miabi, where he was held incommunicado for 48 hours.

On their way to the Mbuji-Mayi, the officers stopped at the RTAS station and pillaged the offices, taking several pieces of equipment, including a transmitter and mixing table. They forced the journalist to sign a document acknowledging that he had broadcast information "damaging to the president", according to local sources.

Kasongo is accused of "collaborating" with an ex-army officer, Colonel Tshibangu, who he is alleged to have invited to his home on 13 August, according to JED sources. Tshibangu is wanted by the army for defecting. Kasongo admits to meeting the ex-officer at his home at the request of an opposition member of parliament.

His case will be heard in court.

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